What Is Oyster Pie?

Don't worry—it's not a dessert.

<p>Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall</p>

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Love them or hate them, oysters are Southern delicacy that many folks can’t live without. Our staff is even divided on them—the texture of fresh oysters is described by some detractors as slippery, slimy, gooey, and gross. But some folks who can't abide them raw change their tunes when oysters are cooked. And no dish is proof of that dramatic swing of opinion more than oyster pie.

Jill Ferry Photography/Getty Images
Jill Ferry Photography/Getty Images

What Is the Origin of Oyster Pie?

If you've never heard of oyster pie, you're not alone. I grew up in Mississippi, and it was definitely not on our dinner table.

Oyster pie is a beloved dish in the Lowcountry of South Carolina; in fact, one of the first recorded recipes for it was published in a cookbook titled Carolina Housewife in 1847 and later in the highly sought-after vintage cookbook Charleston Receipts. But love for oyster pie isn't limited to the South—folks all over the country adore this classic dish.

What Is Oyster Pie, Exactly?

To be precise, oyster pie is not technically a pie. In fact, it’s actually not a pie at all. Just like the word "receipt" is an old-fashioned word for recipe, "pie" is an old-fashioned term for casserole. Oyster pie is made by combining raw or smoked oysters, cream, butter, and seasonings in an oven-safe dish, then sprinkling the mixture with crackers and baking it until the oysters are cooked and the topping is golden brown.

Can You Used Canned Oysters?

When canned oysters became widely available decades ago, many home cooks opted to use them instead of fresh oysters due to cost and convenience. While that’s still perfectly fine today, this dish will taste best with freshly-shucked oysters.

Is Oyster Pie the Same as Scalloped Oysters?

Basically, yes. Many dishes have "scalloped" in the name, like Scalloped Corn and Scalloped Potatoes. In these cases, "scalloped" has come to mean cooked in cream, which is what oyster pie is all about. So, if you're looking for a tasty recipe for oyster pie, give our Scalloped Oysters recipe a try!

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Read the original article on Southern Living.